Elixir of the Immortals - Matcha Green Tea

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Matcha Green Tea is one of my top three favourite foods. Studies on the health benefits of green tea have gone off the scales in recent years and rightly so. Its blooming amazing. Green tea is proving to be effective against a range of illnesses. It is known as The Elixir of the Immortals however I don’t remember seeing Edward necking it back in Twilight. Green tea has been linked with protection against liver conditions, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke prevention, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreasing hypertension, improved memory, protecting the skin from UV damage, preventing tooth decay and increasing exercise endurance. Why would you not drink it?

Unless you have been omm-ing in a cave, it is common knowledge that green tea is a rich natural source of antioxidants due to a group of polyphenols known as catechins. Studies have shown these polyphenols to slow aging, fight viruses and diseases, while protecting the body against the ravages of free radicals. News Flash. Free radicals are bad news. According to the ORAC scale, one teaspoon of matcha green tea powder (1.5g) provides the antioxidant equivalent of 230g of broccoli, 85g blueberries and over 137 times the antioxidants of regular steeped green tea.

Matcha is only grown in Japan, where local farmers cultivate it by traditional methods, from growing to grinding. Several weeks prior to harvest in the spring, farmers cover the tea plants with bamboo mats or tarp, gradually reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the plants. This step increases the chlorophyll content and turns the leaves dark green, giving matcha its distinct green colour. After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and then air dried. Next, the leaves are sorted for grade, and then de-stemmed and de-veined. At this stage, the leaves become tencha, the precursor to matcha. The tencha is then ground and becomes matcha. Chlorophyll and amino acids give matcha its unique rich taste. Matcha made in the traditional Japanese style is whisked with water which has not reached boiling point.

Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. Grab your kimono and get your Zen on.

Mega Mango Matcha Smoothie (V N)

½ ripe mango, chopped / 1 cup homemade almond milk /1 t Madagascar vanilla extract / 1 frozen banana, chopped / 2 T desiccated coconut / 1 medjool date, pitted / 1 T raw honey / ½ t organic matcha green tea powder

Add all ingredients to the blender and blitz until smooth. Do not serve with chopsticks.

Flavour Queen TLB

Tara-lee Byrne